I was a bit hesitant about attending this year's Auto Show at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Now, why would an automobile enthusiast become hesitant to attend their local auto show?
Personally, I have not owned a car in 13 years. There's always a desire, but this desire is being explored a bit. If you consider the rising cost of automobile ownership and the instability of gas pump prices, my hesitation could be justified. Certainly, car sharing programs and the occasional rental car may fill that void as a money saving way to evade the trappings of car ownership.
However, I love cars and the Auto Show always gives a good sampling of what is out on the local market. That alone made the decision to attend this year's Auto Show a good one.
When I was en route to the Convention Center, I presented myself with a question: if I were in the market for a new car, what would I consider? The fact that I live in an urban setting, a small, entry-level car would make sense. Something that would be maneuverable in city traffic with a roomy driver's area and ample cargo space for groceries and the occasional IKEA run. The only drawback with these cars would be in regards to performance in winter weather. Considering the amount of snow the Twin Cities got this week, any car would get stuck in the snow…especially a small one.
The perfect urban vehicle, at least from my experience is BMW's own MINI Cooper. As desirable as the MINI would be, the $19,000 price tag would be out of my price range. Besides, the windshield-upper-edge-to-eye-level issue would become a problem in the long run. In lieu of the MINI, there are worthy alternatives that will save me thousands of dollars instantly.
The hometown auto show can still be welcoming…sometimes.
This year's Twin Cities Auto Show packed the Minneapolis Convention Center with plenty of eye candy for everyone. Though devoid of the concepts seen at the major shows, there were plenty of surprises to be had on the show floor. Overall, one goal was accomplished – it brought every brand sold in the state of Minnesota (and Western Wisconsin) under one roof.
I was there on the first day, Saturday March 10th, as well as Media event on Monday March 12th. Both days were needed to take in photography and catch up on vehicles I saw in Chicago. It was also a chance to interface with local friends, industry folks and to see who in the local media would cover this event.
The event also engaged my links back to my core readership through a preview in Lavender magazine and promos through two local community organizations – the North Country Bears and the Minneapolis Movie Bears. Tickets were given away to a lucky few readers and supporters in drawings held at two events. In all, this Auto Show was to increase engagement with the readership.
The show offered more for the attendee.